Polling today for third and final phase in Assam Assembly polls
Polling for the third and final phase of the tea-garden state of Assam began on Tuesday morning with security arrangements in place.
To boost the morale, "Mekhela Chadors" (a popular Assamese saree) have been given to women polling personnel in Goalpara.
"Special counters for the convenience of women polling personnel set up in Goalpara; training and confidence-building conducted. To boost morale, Mekhela Chadors given to all 160 women polling personnel. #AssamAssemblyPolls #assemblyelection2021," tweeted the Election Commission of India.
As many as 320 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) companies have been deployed to ensure a free and fair election in the state.
Out of these 320 CAPF companies, 30 are reserved for strong room duty and others for law and order duties.
These companies include the Central Armed Police Force (CRPF), State Armed Police (SAP) of other states and Assam.
One constable and one home guard have also been deployed at each polling station to maintain law and order, according to the Election Commission.
Besides this, sector and zonal police officers are monitoring the security situation in the state, the commission said.
While the first phase of polls in the state saw a deployment of 300 CAPF coys on March 27, the second phase on April 1 had a total of 310 Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) coys and 90 companies of Assam state police.
In view of the worsening COVID-19 situation, the poll body had issued guidelines lowering the maximum number of voters per polling booth from 1,600 to 1,000.
The guidelines also include sanitisation of electronic voting machines (EVMs), wearing of masks and other protective gear by polling personnel, the availability of thermal scanners, hand sanitisers, soaps, and water at booths.
A total of 40 constituencies are going to polls in the third and final phase.The total assembly segment in Assam assembly is 126 -- while 47 seats went to polls in the first phase, 39 seats in the second phase.
In the final phase, 337 candidates are in the fray, including 12 female candidates and 325 male candidates.
This phase will decide the fate of 337 candidates including minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Hemanta Biswa Sarma in the Jalukbari constituency. Assam's Dharmapur constituency with 1,41,592 votes has the lowest number of voters. Dispur LAC constituency with 4,11,636 has the largest number of electors.Gauhati West constituency with 15 candidates has the highest number of candidates in the fray. The Boko (SC) seat with three candidates has the least number of candidates on the ground. Gauhati West constituency with 15 candidates has the highest number of candidates in the fray.
The fates of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) candidate Phanibhushan Choudhary from Bongaigaon, Bodoland People's Front's (BPF) Pramila Rani Brahma from Kokrajhar-East, and Chandan Brahma from Sidli, independent candidate and Lok Sabha MP Naba Hira Kumar Sarania from Barama will also be decided.
BJP, MLAs Atul Bora from Dispur, and Suman Haripriya from Hajo are also in the fray.The fate of sitting Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed, former AGP MLA Kamala Kalita from Chaygaon, and Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) working president Pabindra Deka from Pathacharkuchi will also be decided in the third phase.
Barama constituency, from where Kokrajhar's Lok Sabha MP Naba Kumar Sarania is contesting the polls as an Independent candidate will also go into polling in the last phase.
The Congress has stitched a broad alliance called the Mahajot, which includes All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, the Anchalik Gana Marcha (AGM) and the Bodoland People's Front (BPF).
BJP's alliance includes the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People's Party Liberal (UPPL).
Jailed activist Akhil Gogoi's Raijor Dal has stitched an alliance with Assam Jatiya Parishad.
The main contest is seen to be between the BJP-led NDA and Congress-led Mahajot.
During campaigning, BJP had repeatedly targeted Congress over its alliance with AIUDF and has been raising the issue of infiltration.
There are 79,19,641 general electors in the third phase. Of these, 40,11,539 are males, 39,07,963 are females, and 139 are other genders. The number of service voters stood at 24,460.